Lessons
1 Definitions
2 Perspectives
3 Guidelines
4 Hunger Strikes

Test lesson 3
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Hunger strike - International guidelines and medical management

The first week

  • fasting generally well supported, as long as water intake is sufficient
  • hunger pangs and stomach cramps disappear after the 2 nd 3 rd day

After 15 18 days

  • the hunger strikers suffers from dizziness and feeling faint
  • severe ataxia
  • standing up may become difficult to impossible
  • bradycardia
  • orthostatic hypotension
  • lightheadedness [ 10 ] or inversely mental sluggishness
  • sensation of cold [ 11 ]
  • general sensation of weakness
  • fits of hiccoughs
  • loss of the sensation of thirst [ 12 ]

At the end of the first month, symptoms may be severe enough to warrant hospitalization. Hydration needs to be particularly monitored. Too much supplement of NaCl may lead to hypokalemia.


[10] Due to electrolyte imbalance. See Peel, M. footnote 7.

[11] Blood thyroxine levels remain stable throughout fasting, but tri-iodothyronine is converted rapidly into an inactive metabolite, thereby reducing thyroid function, and base metabolic rate. Ibid, Peel, M.

[12] Ideally, water should be supplemented with 1.5 g of NaCl per day (one half-teaspoon salt)


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